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Local Red Cross Sees Double Digit Increase in Disaster Responses in 2016

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With three days still remaining in 2016, the local American Red Cross in Oregon and Southwest Washington has had an extremely busy year, responding to 74 more disasters this year compared to last year.

Disaster Response:
In 2016, the Red Cross responded to approximately 668 local disasters. That's a more than 12% increase in disaster responses in one year. We have also helped 2,410 people affected by these disasters, which include home fires, floods and wildfires.

"We responded to an extraordinary number of disasters in 2016," said Amy Shlossman, Chief Executive Officer for the American Red Cross Cascades Region. "When families lost everything in a fire or a flood this past year, the Red Cross was there to help thanks to the generosity of our local community. With the support of our volunteers and donors, we will continue to be there to help people affected by disasters in the years to come."

Deployments to Relief Operations:
In addition to responding to disasters at home, 177 volunteer responders deployed to 24 disaster relief operations throughout the nation. In 2016, we saw an increase in large scale relief operations due to disasters throughout the U.S. (17 in 2015 compared to 24 in 2016). The local Red Cross more than doubled the number of volunteer responders that deployed to help at national relief operations (67 volunteers deployed in 2015 compared to 177 in 2016).

In 2016, 72 responders deployed multiple times throughout the year to relief operations including floods in Louisiana, floods in Texas, floods in Mississippi, floods in West Virginia, wildfires in California, a hurricane in Florida, floods in Iowa, a hurricane on the Southern East Coast, and wildfires and tornadoes in Tennessee.

Service to the Armed Forces:
The local Red Cross also provided emergency assistance to members of the armed forces and their families 860 times in 2016. We participated in 59 other military service and support events, including 18 reconnection workshops, which help members of the military reconnect with their families following deployment.

The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of local donors to fulfill its mission.

- A donation of $250 provides a night of emergency shelter and meals for a family of five.
- A donation of $335 helps deploy an emergency response vehicle to provide assistance to a community in need.
- A donation of $500 provides comfort kits which include toiletry and other comfort items for 200 armed service members.
- A donation of $1,650 enables the Red Cross to deploy a volunteer to a relief operation for 11 days -- the average length of a disaster deployment.

People can help those who need it most through the Red Cross in four ways:

- Make a financial donation to the Red Cross at www.redcross.org/donate.
- Schedule an appointment to give blood at www.redcrossblood.org.
- Send cards to members of the Armed Forces through the Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes program at www.redcross.org/mailforheroes.
- Give the gift of time by becoming a Red Cross volunteer at www.redcross.org/volunteer